Friday, 24 December 2010

A Year in Video Games: My Top 5 for 2010

2010 has been a great year for me in both gaming and game development. Being, as I am, perpetually late to any party, rather than list the best things that have been released or developed this year, I'm going to list the top 5 best things I've discovered.

Merry Christmas, a happy new year, and I hope you all discover something cool too!

5. Consolevania/VideoGaiden

I always have a "thing I'm watching when I should be going to sleep," and in January and February of this year, it was low-budget game review show Consolevania (and its BBC counterpart VideoGaiden). I love games criticism and it's creators, Glaswegians Ryan MacLeod and Rab Florence, are great fun to watch. It's got a very edgy sense of humour, so it's not for the easily offended, but these guys really know what they're talking about.

It goes back to 2004, and fizzled out around 2008, but if you enjoy looking back at cool stuff you might have missed when you were following the hype, this might pick up a few surprises.

Rab and Ryan are also pretty knowledgeable about their subject, as this opinion piece on violence in games shows, bucking the traditional gamers' view on the subject.

Designing the Bankers: Part 3

See also: Part 1, Part 2

The final set of banker concept drawings are below. Please let me know what you think!

I worked on a new design, based on a "greedy banker" stock image a TIGSource user found. I made him fatter, and gave him a monocle, and a waistcoat, which allowed me to add in a bit of colour. The green/yellow light glow has a kind of money feel about it. This guy looks a bit more like a "fat cat," so to speak.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Designing the Bankers: Part 2

See also: Part 1, Part 3

Below is the first set of greedy banker designs I came up with. As always, any feedback is very much appreciated! As with the game itself, I'd love to involve followers in the design process, and all the comments I get help me improve the designs. So please, let me know what you think!

The banker design began with a simple biro sketch based on the ideas I'd been carrying in my head

Designing the Bankers: Part 1

Greedy Bankers for iPhone is making fantastic progress, with the gameplay elements really coming together. It's still a little rough around the edges, and I've not balanced the drop rates yet, but it's already proving fun to play. It's become clear that the artwork and animation is a big job which I need to get on with before the game can progress further.

With that in mind, I decided to spend the past week entirely on artwork, and trying to pin down a clear design for the "Greedy Bankers" of the title. These characters had always been in my head, as part of the setting the game takes place in. I'd always imagined the player as part of a big Greedy Banking corporation, working away in a secret vault.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

It's that time again! Warwick 48 Hour Competition!

This weekend I hopped up to Warwick University to take part in the Warwick Game Design 48 Hour competition. This term's competition had possibly the oddest theme yet, which I am proud to be partially responsible for: Evil Ventriloquist's Dummy.

I joined forces with Tim Monks and Jess Nickson to create Satan's Toyshop, a spooky run-and-gun where you have to fend off hoards of possessed dummies an teddy bears, while protecting the innocent toys.

There was a grand total of six teams in this term's competition, with three to four members on each, making it the biggest competition the society has seen. Warwick Game Design seems to be going from strength to strength, attracting more and more members and industry speakers - hats off to the new exec for their hard work!

PIXELearning, a Coventry-based serious games developer, will be judging the entries. I will post up the other competition entries, along with the results, as soon as I can.